Where to eat in East Honolulu
A handy guide to our favorite eateries located in Honolulu town.
Koko Head Cafe
Chef Lee Anne Wong serves brunches of Auntie Alohi Cakes and The Pancakes, and brunch cocktails like The Queen's Mimosas, all day. An absolute must-try.
1145-C 12th Avenue, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily
(808) 732-8920 kokoheadcafe.com
Bassist and baker Otto's cheesecakes are rich and tasty. His cookies are a good choice, too.
1127 12th Avenue, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, to 3 p.m. Sunday
This is affordable coffee in a converted bank space and it feels like it. As a coffee shop, it's a great place to catch up on work in the middle of a vacation. Skip the pastries and go to Otto for sweet carbs. Coffee Talk often hosts music or film shows, which offer a great taste of the local community.
3601 Wai'alae Avenue, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
(808) 737-74444 coffeetalkhi.com
Morning Glass Coffee + Café
This may be the best café on the island. Owner Eric Rose serves excellent Hawaiian coffees, but ask him if they have ice cream (they make it right there). Stop in Fridays at lunchtime for their Good and Better Burgers. But don't bring your laptops thre -- go to Starbucks down the road to write your Yelp post.
2955 E. Manoa Road, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday
(808) 744-8404 morningglasscoffee.com
Not many would travel to Honolulu for French pastries, but their pain au chocolat is buttery and delicious. While you're there, stop at the nearby Longs Drugs for mochi.
Manoa Marketplace, 2752 Woodlawn Dr, Suite 5-119; 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
(808) 988-4310 bakerieshonolulu.com
You'll have to keep track of their operating hours, but it's worth it. We strongly recommend the espresso or chocolate muffins.
3565 Wai'alae Avenue, Suite 107; 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
(808) 735-7717 cafelaufer.com
Andy's Sandwiches & Smoothies
Andy Rodrigues is from Moloka'i but his menu choices are Southern Californian. This is a choice spot for lunch on the way to the beach or before a hike in Manoa Valley. Get a Hi-Pro smoothie, a smoked ahi melt sandwich and a chocolate energy bar for later.
2904 E. Manoa Road, 7 a.m.-10:15 a.m. breakfast Monday-Friday, to noon Sunday; 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, to 4 p.m Friday, to 2:30 p.m. Sunday
(808) 988-6161 andyssandwiches.com
12th Avenue Grill
A staple in the East Honolulu neighborhood for close to a decade, the award-winning American bistro relocated to a larger, redesigned space in October 2013, still serving an exciting menu of contemporary dishes that focuses on locally sourced farm-to-table produce.
With a million dollars spent on the renovation, the sleekly designed, open-space restaurant also has a private dining area to accommodate large parties. The larger bar offers craft beers, a special wine list and Italian coffee.
Featuring ala carte and late-night bar menus (with chalkboard daily specials and weekday happy hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m.), the bistro also offers Sunday Supper, a family-style menu featuring entrées and desserts priced per person.
The overall menu is seasonal, changing every three to four months. At any given time of the year, 12th Avenue Grill will offer up Maui lamb, Kon kampachi, rabbit and other meats like venison, beef heart, sweet bread, veal, kidney and liver. Hormone-free, grass-fed beef and sustainable fresh fish are part of the menu's regular offerings. It's all about bold, but not heavy, flavors and food presented in a rustic style.
1120 12th Avenue, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
(808) 732-9469 12thavegrill.com
Chef Ed Kenney is perfecting a farm-to-table approach to Hawaiian cuisine with his restaurant. The pa'i'ai is amazing, as is the risotto. The menu changes daily, so you can dine here a few times during any given week. The small space fills up quick, so dinner reservations are recommended.
3435 Wai'alae Avenue, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. lunch Monday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. dinner Monday-Thursday, to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
(808) 735-5900 townkaimuki.com
3660 on the Rise
Russell Siu's longtime restaurant sits at the top of the hill on Wai'alae Avenue both in terms of price and geography. If you're planning a marriage proposal, this would be the right East Honoluu restaurant to do it at.
3660 Wai'alae Avenue, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
(808) 737-1177 3660ontherise.com